Sascha D. Freudenheim on Tue, 10 Feb 2004 00:41:13 +0100 (CET)

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

<nettime> Glibly Jabbing at France

The French government's desire to preserve their secular state is 
comical, given the overall homogeneity of France in matters of religion 
and everything else (relative, say, to the diversity of U.S.).

But it isn't the separation of church and state that is problematic, it 
is defining the benign as threatening that is, at bottom, the issue 
here. Every society that has defined the benign as dangerous - from 
America and African-Americans to Rwanda's Hutus vs. Tutsi to Yugoslavia 
... well, you get the point... That way lies danger.


Posted with permission of the author. Original article online at:
Glib Factor, Segment 13 - Oui, Oui, Oui
A.D. Freudenheim – 8 February 2004

Agence Frog Press – Paris, France – 8 February 2004 – On the heels of 
the French Parliament’s consideration of a new law reinforcing the 
integrity and primacy of the secular French state – legislation that 
will prohibit conspicuous displays of religiosity in public schools and 
offices – comes a new law designed to reinforce the homogeneity of 
France itself. Cleverly titled the “Oui, Oui, Oui” bill, the new 
legislation rests on five core principles that will “make France even 
more French than those fru-fru academics at the French Academy can 
imagine,” said the bill’s co-sponsor, Jean Marie Le Pen. French 
President Jacques Chirac, the bill’s other sponsor, concurred, saying 
that with the new law in effect, right-thinking French men and women 
“will no longer even have to worry about whether someone wears a 
headscarf for religious reasons because such dilemmas will not exist.”

The “Oui, Oui, Oui” legislations five founding principles are elegantly 
straightforward and cost-effective, ensuring that at a time of economic 
uncertainty for France and much of the Euro area, no greater financial 
demands will be placed on the secular French state than are absolutely 
necessary. In fact, Le Pen and Chirac expect that some of the costs will 
be carried by non-governmental French institutions that will benefit 
from the new law, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Alliance 
Francaise du Surgeons Cosmetique (French Alliance of Cosmetic Surgeons). 
The five principles are:

1. All French citizens and registered, visa-holding foreign-nationals 
must convert to Catholicism within 90 days. Said M. Le Pen, “This solves 
completely the problem of conflicting and confusing displays of 
religion: French men will always know that the young lass covering her 
head is merely protecting her hairdo from the elements, and that she is 
still entirely open to being approached and asked out on a date, or 
available for a friendly fuck. And we all know what Frank Zappa sang 
about Catholic Girls.” The Church has offered to pay the costs for all 
conversions provided they have full rights to the convert’s soul after 

2. All registered, visa-holding foreign-nationals must submit to 
cosmetic surgery to have their noses fixed to reflect one of 12 possible 
traditional Gallic styles – or prove, via an in-person visit to their 
local city hall that their nose already meets such standards. All French 
citizens whose lineage post-dates the revolution of 1789 must undergo 
similar surgery. The government will refund 35% of the cost of this 
surgery, upon receipt of an official, notarized portrait showing the new 
nose style in both frontal and profile views; this subsidy is, in fact, 
paid out of dues from the Alliance Francaise du Surgeons Cosmetique, 
which expects gross receipts to rise strongly during this period as 
customers have other, non-subsidized surgery performed at the same time. 
Other French citizens whose lineage pre-dates 1789 but wish to have the 
surgery performed may do so, and receive a 50% subsidy. Surgeries must 
be completed within 120 days for adults; children are permitted to wait 
until their 17th birthday, when cranio-facial growth has largely 
stopped. President Chirac was quoted as saying that he expects “the 
Charles de Gaulle nose to be the most popular among men with Semitic 
origins,” given its relative protuberance.

3. All French citizens and registered, visa-holding foreign-nationals 
whose skin is darker than a traditional olive complexion must undergo 
skin bleaching to lighten their tones. A National Skin Tone chart will 
be provided, to take into account differences in standard skin tone 
between French people living in southern areas such as along the 
Riviera, and those in northern parts of the country. Office workers and 
others whose jobs keep them away from natural sunlight must achieve 

4. No non-French languages may be spoken in public, by anyone at any 
time. As President Chirac laughingly said of this principle, “Il n'y a 
rien à discuter.” [“There is nothing to discuss.”]

5. Lastly, and perhaps most controversially: Every school child must eat 
[at least] one croissant per day, while anyone seen eating so-called 
“French fries” will be fined 200 Euros. Both M. Le Pen and President 
Chirac brushed aside concerns that croissants are just as bad for 
children’s health as French fries – and that French fries are, in fact, 
of French origin.

“Les jeux sont fait,” said the President Chirac. “It is time for France 
to move on with being French and this is the best method we know. My 
critics are saying that with an estimated 5 million Muslims and a few 
hundred Jews in France, this law does not support a secular French state 
but rather a discriminatory one. We Frenchmen disagree. If France is to 
be French, then women must be uncovered and immodest in the French 
style, food must taste French, men must look French, and the sound of 
French must fill our ears and our mouths. I ask you, how can a France 
for the French possibly be discriminatory? This is an oxymoron! If it 
worked for the Germans, well, it will work for us too.”

Anyone unwilling to comply with these five principles will be 
immediately deported to the United States of America, where the 
non-French have traditionally been welcomed. Those so choosing may also 
apply for Gastarbeiter (Guest Worker) status in Germany – and those of 
Turkish origin are encouraged by the French government to do so anyway.

#  distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
#  <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
#  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
#  more info: and "info nettime-l" in the msg body
#  archive: contact: